The Rural sector has been seeing some steady action in recent times. With the global economy shrinking in the past year and half, organizations have been exploring new untapped markets to create demand. Indian Rural Sector – a highly unexploited sector despite having a sizable population makes it a potential new market. With plans in place to connect rural India via broadband , the barriers of reach and communication should also be tamed with time.
U.S. based Venture Capital firm Walden International has gone the rural way with its first investment after a gap of nearly 4 years. Walden Int. is going to co-invest over $10million in CoOptions Technologies in partnership with Nadathur Holdings and Investments. Nadathur Holdings is a VC firm owned by Infosys co-founder N S Raghvan.
CoOptions is a technology based firm with focus on rural sector. The company has connected around 2,740 rural co-operative banks on its technology solution, PACS (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies). (Source: CoOptions )
With a huge rural data bank in its kitty, CoOptions is strategically placed to be able to harness this valuable data by partnering with various industry verticals. The importance of the availability of data is rightly pointed out by Rajesh Subramaniam from Walden India,
“Corporate India needs access to rural markets because the next wave of domestic demand is going to come from here, and one of the problems with access to this market is credible accurate data”
With at least 70% of Indian population residing in rural areas, the rural market place might just be ready for steady growth. The telecommunication sector has sowed the seeds by connecting the rural India like never before.
However, a lot needs to be done and the government will have to do its bit to equip rural India with the right gear to become a profitable and competitive marketplace.
Do you think rural India has the potential to become as good a lucrative market as the urban market? The margins may not be high in the rural sector but the sheer volume can be enough to make up for less margins.